The way to make a name as a successful artist, especially with sculpture, is to make one thing that many people admire and want. Then keep making versions of that over and over for the rest of your life. That enables people to recognize your work and to recognize you. But it just doesn't interest me. Once I have developed something as far as I can, I wake up in the next morning thinking of something else I want to develop. Sometimes I do not even make the final version of the previous piece (unless someone wants to buy it). Once I have figured it out and know I can do it, something inside me wants to move on. It is a recipe for starvation.
Although I do make Peace Poles. They are a cause. Every park that has a war memorial should have a peace pole of equal stature. It has taken me a couple of decades of pushing to get people to see them as deserving to be made of something better than wood and to see the point of making them tall. But finally people are starting to order tall stainless steel peace poles built to last millennia. Ten, fifteen feet tall this year. Someone talking about one 20 plus feet tall next year (if they can raise the money). Yesterday I shipped a smaller aluminum one to Maine. Today I am starting on a 12-foot-tall stainless steel one for a park in Castro Valley, California. Immediately after that a similar one is one going to a park overlooking the harbor in Tacoma, Washington. And there is a limestone one waiting for me to get to it. I may not have time to open my studio on Final Friday this month.
However, if I do open it, what you will see in it mainly is metal sculpture and some two dimensional wall-hanging work also out of metal. Until now I didn't have much that cost under $800.00, but I am starting to slip in work as cheap as $25 when I have time.
You can see a granite one of mine in Beech Acres Park here in Cincinnati. Just search on "beech acres park peace pole" to see pictures and get directions. Or go to joel.com. The third or fourth link (it changes) takes you to my peace pole site (peace-pole.com).
In the end I am doing different versions of the same thing over and over. Unfortunately, it is not with the kind of thing that brings renown and realistic wages. But it is a cause that I care about. Someday I should put one in my studio here at the Pendleton.